Diverse Thinking: KMWorld 2018

One of the key themes for me at this year’s KMWorld conference held in Washington DC Nov 5-8 was diverse thinking.  Tues am keynote Amy Wilkinson, author of Creator’s Code, first urged us to think of diversity, not by race, religion, or politics, but rather by diverse thinking stypes.  Wed am keynote, Don Pontefract, author of Open Thinking, discussed critical thinking and creative thinking. Closing keynote speakers and long-time practitioners Tom Stewart and Dave Snowden, came back to the discussion of diverse thinking styles in their pithy and often humerous remarks.  I think we had a lot of diverse thinking styles at the conference this year with lots of attendees and speakers from many different countries and experiences — perfect for knowledge sharing which we did for four full networking, learning, and exciting days!  If you were unable to join us this year, check out the presentations and videos (clips on our KMWorld Facebook page) but more will be up at this link soon.  There are many  blog posts about the KMWorld speakers and talks as well, check out those from Mary Abraham!

#KMWorld 2019 will be held same week, Nov 4-7 next year at the same place, JW Marriott in Washington DC — mark your calendars and thinking about sharing your experience and knowledge as a speaker next year — call for speakers on our website in January!  Thanks again to all the speakers and sponsors who helped make KMWorld 2018 so successful!

Did You Know? 2018 Update to Shift Happens

The 4 minute “Did You Know? Shift Happens” video, originally produced in 2008 has been updated to include AI, self-driving cars and current statistics (as current as they can be!).  It’s useful for any discussion in Board meetings, staff meetings, community-inclusion meetings…..so long as you ask the all important question: “So what does this mean – for our community? our campus? us?”

Take the 4 minutes – it’s worth it:

UX expert Peter Morville introduced his new book at Internet Librarian

UX expert Peter Morville introduced his new book at Internet Librarian during his morning keynote, Tomorrow’s Architects, described here by Don Hawkins.

Peter’s new book is called Planning for Everything: The Design of Paths & Goals which reveals four principles & six practices essential for shaping the future!  Read Don’s coverage of the talk and buy the book!

Amazon blurb says: We can’t predict the future, yet we do it all the time. We organize projects, events, days, weeks, and years. We plan to buy a home, build a career, travel, get married, raise children, teach a class, retire, or get in shape. Our ability to model the world as it is and might be is a gift, but mental time travel is also really hard. Fortunately, since planning is a skill, everyone from playful improviser to rigorous planner can greatly improve, if they are ready to learn:

  • The principles and practices of nonlinear planning.
  • How to grow and sustain hope with willpower and waypower.
  • When to pivot or persist with paths, goals, values, and metrics.
  • How myths, memories, fears, and feelings shift the future.
  • Why the plans of an octopus are the product of evolution.
  • Why artificial intelligence is poised to transform how to plan.
If you hate planning, you’re doing it wrong. The uncertainty of change makes us crave chaos or control, but it’s as dangerous to be rigid as it is to move fast and break things. To organize the future, we will find better habits and beliefs, because happiness is a prediction, and it’s also the freedom you’ll feel upon realizing there is no one right way to plan.

60 Seconds to Pitch Your Idea

As we get ready for the Library Shark Tank Weekend @ California’s fabulous Asilomar, we’re helping those who will be pitching their ideas prepare. If you’ve ever been to a Start-Up weekend of watched the “shark tank” or “dragon’s den” you’ll know that these pitches are short and to the point. The same is true with any idea you are presenting — to managers, to employees, even to friends you want to have dinner with! In today’s world we have 60 seconds to get our point across. Structure your 60 seconds like this:
15 seconds — You & Your Team. Build your credibility. Why should the listener listen to YOU?
15 seconds — The Problem You are Solving. Paint the picture of the pain for people that you & your team are solving.
15 seconds — Your Unique Solution. Paint the picture of how the pain-reliever you’re bringing changes things for those people? In simple words.
15 seconds — The Opportunity. How big is the market of people with this pain? Hook your audience get involved and invest their time – or money.

Great advice from Founder.Org which, by the way, has the vision to fund companies that are “changing the world”. Since libraries have a vision to “change lives” don’t you think we could learn from a company “changing the world”? Yeah – we can learn from them.

IFLA World Library & Information Congress 2018 in Kuala Lampur!

IFLA Pres Gloria Perez-Salmeron’s picture from Kuala Lamput

Guest post, aka “Fresh Eyes”, report from IFLA annual conference. Eugene Espinoza is a Filipino librarian and a new employee at De La Salle University and the paper he gave at the IFLA WLIC: “Repurposing the Philippine House of Representatives Compendia of Laws into a Searchable Database: Widening Access and Enhancing Services” on August 28, 2018, for the Parliamentary Division of IFLA.

If you weren’t able to attend I hope that you were able to stream some of the events covered.  Here’s the link to events streamed.  You can also find many of the papers presented online here. And now a look at the conference from Eugene — thanks for sharing and emphasizing that we must invest in ourselves and continue to learn and grow!

2018 IFLA WLIC will be one of the memorable international conference I attended, save for the 2017 Koha International Conference (KohaCon2017) of which I helped the realization of it being held in the Philippines last 2017. This 84th IFLA General Conference and Assembly was the first IFLA Conference I attended. It was made possible through a paper accepted by the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section. I was only planning to get a day pass and attend only the day on which I will be presenting but thanks to Jane Dysart of Dysart & Jones through a Facebook post of Sir Von Totanes in one of the Philippine Librarian’s group, my attendance to the whole Conference was brought into fruition. This attendance was indeed memorable because I was able to get help from several people. Aside from the Conference grant, my accommodation was taken care of by Malaysian friends Jesse Kah and Chong of Edgetech Technology. I also had some funding from my parent institution De La Salle University. I am always of the impression that in order to grow and learn more as professionals, we need to invest and investing on such the IFLA Conference is a great way to invest. But due to being a family man, there is a need to temper on this dream to attend that first IFLA Conference. With the rate of things that IFLA is being held in the Southeast Asian region and with one of my two papers submitted to different IFLA Divisions accepted for presentation, what a better time to chase on that first and thanks to several people and institutions for helping me realize this.

I attended IFLA WLIC with the intention to personally enrich my knowledge, to network and to be able to share through my paper presentation. To learn in order to have something to bring for my institution, my library organization and to the Philippine librarianship as a whole. I attended the newcomer’s session and it was welcoming! I learned that there was an Un-conference two days before the actual Conference and I found this intriguing and can actually be emulated in future conferences or undertakings. In this way, this encourages us to book in advance for future IFLA WLICs. Another thing that can be emulated are the lightning talks, which can be emulated by local library organizations in the Philippines. Five minute talks of anything relating to the library and information profession and a couple of minutes of plenary discussions make it really interesting.

I was more incline to go over the Exhibition Booth and talk to the exhibitors. There was actually an Exhibition Passport Competition on which attendees were given an Exhibition passport and have it stamped by at least 25 exhibitors. After which, it will be dropped into a drop box and the winner of this raffle will be given a complimentary Congress registration to WLIC 2019 in Athens. I talked and discussed with the exhibitors lengthily and I don’t just go to their booths for the sake of just getting stamped. I went to most of the ILS vendors present as well as the booth of digital imaging companies. As a System Services librarian, it is my duty to be on the lookout of new trends in the library and information science profession so I did environmental scanning. I talked with the likes of Civica Library Solutions, The Library Corporation, Axiell and most especially with OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services (WMS) as I was tasked to do a comparative study between Sierra ILS and OCLC’s WMS. I also talked lengthily with the various digital image/scanning providers. What fascinated me was the product from Treventus Mechatronics from Austria and its ScanRobot 2.0 Mass Digitization System (MDS) as well as its Nainuwa Digital Library. I have actually been in search for a long time of a digital library system that will enable you to annotate on the document and Nainuwa Digital Library fits this bill. I have always been of the impression that digital imaging/scanning hardware are mostly produced in Germany but I was proven wrong when I talked with the exhibitors in IFLA as the country of origin of products that I visited are from France, Austria and Switzerland. As Systems Services Librarian, I am also tasked on the lookout for a possible analytics software that can be used by the library and I happened to visit the booth of Techknowledge’s DeepKnowledge, a cloud based service platform with head office in the United Arab Emirates, which could probably be utilized as the main e-library gateway.

What I like most on a big conference such as IFLA is that you can choose your own adventure, I concentrated most during the first days talking and mingling with the Exhibitors and attended sessions in between. I also attended sessions relating to my work like attending the EBSCO session on Folio, an open source Library Services Platform (LSP). Some of the sessions I attended and are of my interest are on Big Data, Open Access, Beyong MARC Cataloguing, Digital Preservation, Document Delivery and Resource Sharing, UN Sustainable Development Goals transforming societies through informed policy, Blockchain and Bibliographies. During the session on which I presented, we were asked to pose two questions that will be answered by the participants at the end of the presentations and I found this part worth emulating in future activities. There were six participants (three from Thailand, one each from Namibia and Uganda) for my posed questions and participants were responsive during the group activity. While waiting for the sessions, I looked at the various posters along the hallway and I’m quite impressed that many Malaysian libraries are already using Koha Integrated Library System as I was able to see most screenshots pertaining to Koha ILS.

Fun fact is that I was able to meet people with the same name as mine, one is Lithuanian Eugene (Eugenijus) and one from Greece (Eugenia). Well, I met and networked with other library and information professionals along the way and I hope that in the future if I need resources, I hope that I will be able to contact them, or even them contacting me. Even in this world of technology where persons can communicate through computers without them having to be physically present, the human spirit of physical contact still persist. You can meet experts face to face like meeting the wonderful team of IFLA Research Services for Parliaments Section Karin Finer and Steve Wise, whom I was only able to communicate through email correspondences. And there’s nothing like being in a room of like-minded people. Indeed, 2018 IFLA WLIC was a memorable event!

Pioneering for Tomorrow!

“Yesterday we pioneered for today; today, we are pioneering for tomorrow.”Thomas J. Watson, Sr. (IBM)

I love that idea, pioneering for tomorrow — innovating, experimenting, trying new things.  In order to do that we have to look at the world through different lenses, different perspectives — walk in other people’s shoes, see things how they do.  Particularly our clients or members or audiences!  We have to see the big picture — what’s going on in our community, what can we do that will have a positive impact on that community whether it’s an business enterprise, academic campus or public library/institution.  We also have to be bold enough and have enough courage to try different things, some of which will work, and some will not.  We have to learn from our experiences (and mistakes) — do an after-action review — ask ourselves what worked, what didn’t, and what can we learn from this?  How can we do it better next time.  We also need to learn from other peoples experiences, listen to their stories, their successes and failures.

I have been involved in putting together a number of programs for the fall to do just that, let you hear other peoples’ stories, successes as well as their techniques and tips.

Internet Librarian, Oct 16-18 in Monterey CA — Theme: Community Partners: Beyond Outreach

Great keynotes: Nina Simon, Peter Morville, Susan Bailey Shram & a fabulous closing panel discussing Libraries’ Biggest Challenges & Solutions for the Future!  Wonderful roster of speakers. Lots of in-depth workshops led by experienced facilitators.  Many receptions & opportunities for networking & meeting new colleagues.  Focus on key topics: Search & Discovery, UX, Customer Engagement, Models for Library Success featuring different models from Japan, Copenhagen & more communities, Internet@Schools (2 days of programs), Content Management, Tech Tools, and more.

We also have some very successful practitioners and thought leaders who share new approaches to help us pioneer for tomorrow:

Peter Morville, Semantic Studios, consults on user exepreience and design with some of the biggest organizations in our information world & you can get tips on strategic design in his workshop.  Public library CEO, Scott Hargrove hosts an interactive workshop on business thinking and strategies for pioneering for tomorrow.  Leanrning expert and Lego master, M.J. D’Elia shares secrets on facilitation and techniues for better team communication to improve decision making, problem solving and learning. Check them out along with other great speakers in our Internet Librarian line up.

So if you need some new ideas and strategies to pioneer your library into tomorrow, please register & join us in Monterey for lots of thought provoking discussions, networking with industry leaders, and learning from colleagues.  Don’t wait, the early bird deadline is a week away!

2 Practical Models Take Ideas to Services or Applications

Does your library and information or knowledge service functions have a goal to increase innovation or create and deliver high-value services for customers? (customers being residential neighbourhoods, students, faculties or corporate project teams?) Chances are you are using design thinking, but may not be using two practical business tools to consider how the initiative under development will impact other services or relationships, the costs, production and delivery issue, or the strategic fit (or not).

At the Library Shark Tank in October the teams will use the Business Model Canvas or the Service Design Framework to scope and ready their ideas for consideration by the ah…..sharks — (really the panel of library-passionate advisors, all nice people – honest). The beauty of these models is their blend of hard-hitting questions with simple presentation; there’s nothing like a 1-page synopsis of a service or application to boil a complex idea down to a concept that can be clearly communicated.

Why 2 models? Here’s our thinking – and I invite you to weigh in on this:

Service Design Framework: 

The framework has proved indispensable for working through new service ideas within libraries and other organizations that already have pretty full portfolios of client offerings, from programs to services to products. We libraries sometimes struggle to clearly define what a service is and is not, and how it differs from other services. Come on – be honest; how often has your team debated “is the catalogue a service?”  This framework forces libraries and information providers to confront questions such as  “how does this program complement, compete with or cannabalize other programs that we are offering or that our partner is offering?” and “who ARE the targetted groups, and what makes this program unique in their minds?”  Hard conversations – and absolutely essential.

Business Model Canvas:

The Canvas, designed by Strategyzer (who provides quality resources) is a tool for crafting a new business model. While it is useful for us to work through service and operational innovations, I have found that it’s focus is really for a new entity rather than an existing organization or library. Admittedly it poses many of the same questions asked in the Service Design Framework, particularly regarding the customer segments for whom the concept will be valuable and defining exactly what that value or benefit is.  The canvas also shines a flashlight on revenues — “why will people pay for this, and how will the revenues be sustainable?”  For libraries that question is re-framed as “why will people use this service (and pay for it with their time and attention), and how will we engage them to continue to use it over time to ensure its sustainability?” 

To better understand the richness of these tools for library innovation, have a look at How to Use the Business Model Canvas for Innovation, and examine the canvases of Uber and BMW. 

Think those companies don’t relate to your enterprise content department or academic library?  Ah…..have a look at their Key Partners and how they nurture Customer Relationships; we librarians are learners – we can learn from these companies. What always strikes me is that their Cost Structure contains R&D.  Where is the R&D in any library canvas or framework? 

One of the key outcomes we’re aiming for from the Hive Mind at the Asilomar is the recognition that our sector must invest in R&D — even if that’s Rip Off and Duplicate! (thank you Linda Hofshire from Colorado State Library’s fabulous Library Research Service for that definition!)

If you can’t attend, you can still participate in the hive (no, the sharks won’t eat the hive — they’ll be feeding the hive with their experience and advice!), by doing the same preparation as those who will gather around the post-it laden tables:


IFLA: World Library Information Congress 2018 in Kuala Lampur

IFLA Pres Gloria Perez-Salmeron’s picture from Kuala Lampur

In a few days, IFLA will be holding the 84th World Library Information Congress in Kuala Lampur.  I’m sad that I cannot attend this year but am excited to see that they will be live streaming some of the programs.The theme is Transform Libraries, Transform Societies.  I was able to share my prepaid registration to the conference with a librarian from the Phillipines and he is going to write a blog post here following the conference.  That post will also include comments from a Toronto librarian who is going for the first time.  I can’t wait to hear about their thoughts and insights from this important international conference.  From fresh eyes often comes exciting and interesting observations.  So remember to listen to your recent hires, visitors, etc because we can all learn from diverse and different perspectives!!

The theme of this conference is similar to what I hope the Computers in Libraries 2019, March 26-28 in DC will feature with the theme, User Engagement in the Digital Age, and that’s not just for libraries but also our many communities — towns and cities, school and academic campuses, nad yes as IFLA says socieities.  Transform, Impact, Engage — libraries do have a place on the world stage!  If you have secrets to share about engaging or transforming your library and community, please be a speaker at #CILDC 2019!


Bad ass + Bright minds = New Models, New Ways

About 6 months ago a group of librarians – really, a rather motley crew if I may say so – decided to pull together a weekend at which people would meld ideas for new service models, products and operating models. What would we call it? a hive mind? a shark tank? It was new. It was kinda messy. We needed new language. We needed a new approach.

Passion beats backing & experience (we hope):

The ‘organizers’ or,as some called us, the motley crew or misfits – are in Arizona, California, Washington, DC and, yes, Canada. With no corporate backing and miles apart we collaborated virtually (phone, Zoom, Skype, Hangouts). We had limited experience in launching any event. Yet we pooled our pennies, secured a kicking location and took a risk.

What do we have in common? Passion. We want to see our profession and the library sector we so love succeed in a world of AI.  We want to see the next generation of those passionate about libraries take it and transform it beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Oh yeah – the other thing we now have in common is that we are laying awake at night worried we’ll lose our shirts on this venture. But we are all risk takers, and we are ready for another risk.

Sharks, thinkers, advisors & doers:

We decided to jump, launching Library Shark Tank October 12 – 14, 2018 @ the Asilomar beside the Pacific Ocean. 

We asked thought-leaders to join us, offering them nothing but the promise of lightning bolt conversations and good food. To top it off, we told them they have to pay their own way. Yet they are excited by this idea, and they jumped with us. Scott Hargrove, CEO @ Fraser Valley Regional Library System in BC; Laura Soto-Barra, Chief Research, Archives & Data Strategy at NPR; Todd Frager, CFO @ Library Systems & Services; Daniel Lee, Technical Program Manager for Enterprise Content @ Stikeman Elliott LLP; MJ D’Elia, Associate University Librarian (Research) @ University of Guelph, and more. Apologies to some of you whom I’ve missed.

Fresh air and hope:

Just when I began to think that we’d taken on too big a risk with this venture, I received an email that brought me sheer joy and showed me that we misfits are onto something with the Shark Tank. I’ve never met the individual who sent me this:

“Dear Rebecca,

What an amazing opportunity!  And such inspiring ideas! As an “old timer” (34 years), I’ve become a bit jaded by all the “woe is me” attitude among my peers.  I’ve always felt that the foundation of libraries is all about connecting with people, just our tools for that change over time. I don’t complain because my slide rule is no longer needed; I figure out how to use social media to get my answer.

I am excited to see there are people out there who see the long term potential of libraries.  Whoo-hoo for bringing these people together.

Though I feel that the energizing benefits of this gathering would be enormous, I’m certainly not a bad-ass librarian.  I will encourage bad-assedness from my staff and look forward to hearing what great ideas are generated.

Just a heartfelt thank you from an “old timer” who still loves her job, her library, and her patrons.  Thank you for the breath of fresh air and hope.”

I responded “Thank YOU for the breath of fresh air and hope!” I know from this email that there are more librarians and others passionate about libraries who will join us at the Asilomar in October.  People are sending in ideas they want to pursue. People are registering.  Is it expensive? Not really since it includes 6 meals and its located in a gem of a resort. And, it’s expensive to maintain and update our professional capabilities. Bloody hell, we are worth it every penny. Libraries are expensive enterprises and they are worth every penny for communities, campuses, corporations, journalists, democracy.

Some librarians have told us that they aren’t able to attend but would if their schedule allowed; if 3 librarians who can’t attend donated some funds we could sponsor more students or librarians who are early in their careers to attend. As it is we will sponsor at least one student to attend. We hope to sponsor more.

My idea:

What idea do I want to pursue? Well, I’m sitting in Halifax International Airport looking at the Halifax Public Library kiosk. It provides travellers physical books. My idea is to take this further — with digital readers to borrow (yes, like a kindle) onto which people can download any book or magazine they want, and a library staff on a Zoom or webconference screen providing readers advice, “if you liked Harry Potter, try Five Kingdoms; the book isn’t in this kiosk, but press the button to the left to download the digital version on the digital reader in the kiosk, and borrow the digital reader.” Am I crazy? Nah – I know another 2 or 3 librarians putting their heads together will take this idea and make it much much better. We’ll put our bad-asses together with our misfit minds and voila! New models, new ventures, new ways, sustained success for libraries.

What’s your idea?

Library Shark Tank: Entrepreneurs Take Ideas to Action

Do you have ideas about doing things differently in libraries? Want to develop the Uber for libraries? Tired of cliches at conferences and want to actually take a concept forward? Then come to the 1st Library Shark Tank and Hive Mind.  Join other thinkers, doers, misfits and bad-ass librarians at the Asilomar Conference Grounds right beside the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, CA October 12-14, 2018 – right before Internet Librarian.
It’s all in honor of Barbara Quint, a revolutionary librarian and information industry provocateur who died last year.  For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to know her, Barbara – BQ – was the editor of Searcher and Online Searcher, founder of SCOUG (the Southern California Online Users Group), a mentor, provocateur, cheerleader and queen of bad-ass librarians;  she loved pulling together kindred spirits, working on big ideas and disruptive possibilities that could move our sector forward.  BQ’s friends and colleagues decided there could be no more fitting way to honor her – and all the other wonderful librarians and info pros we’ve lost over the years — than to create a hive mind of fun-loving, free-thinking librarians and information professionals to design and do something meaningful for our profession and industry. #LibrarySharkTank is totally non-profit, non-commercial and funded by a bunch of BQ’s friends & people who believe we need to invest in our R&D. The fees are to cover the costs – that’s it.

A hive mind brings people together to share their collective intelligence and opinions as they create new possibilities. A shark tank has aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investors for a chance to see their projects realized.   We’re switching it up for the library world.   You’ll be pitching big new ideas or projects for libraries to thrive in tomorrow’s world.  And instead of millionaires, you’ll pitch the concept to an audience of experienced library leaders and business professionals who are as hungry for good new ideas as you are.  Here are just a few of the ideas that have been submitted so far:  proposal for a combined library / bookstore so patrons can get the best of both worlds, proposal for a subscription reference service that would allow any library to offer its community access to a crack reference team on demand, proposal for a shared library catalog that would act like Goodreads for libraries.

Here’s the plan:
Arrive Friday afternoon, check into your room at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds (designed by Julia Morgan, architect of Hearst Castle and first woman architect licensed in California) and @ 5:30 head to cocktails and dinner with colleagues from across the library sector – BQ events always included minds from academic, public, corporate, and government sectors as well as vendors and suppliers.  A hive needs minds with many perspectives.   After dinner, those of you who brought ideas will pitch them to the group.   Everyone will vote for the project team they want to work on, and the winning projects will move forward to the Shark Tank.

Saturday morning, we’ll hear from each of the Sharks about what what’s impacting the sector.   Then it’s down to work as you and your team members work to craft a winning proposal for the Sharks.  On Saturday night, more dinner and drinks and a special showing of Desk Set, one of BQ’s favorite films.

Bright and early Sunday morning we’ll have a good breakfast, and then each project team presents their proposal to the Sharks and the audience.   The winning proposal gets a full write-up in an Information Today publication … and a chance to be realized.   Sandwiched in between all of that will be a lot fun, jokes and good times – BQ believed that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy … and she did know ‘Jack’.

You don’t have to have a big idea to attend! You have a choice of either pitching a project or working on a project team.  You’ll meet some great contacts and potential mentors – and you’ll learn all about what taking an idea to concept, and crafting a winning proposal.  Are you a student enrolled in an iSchool or Masters of Information? Then submit your idea proposal – quick!  We will award one All Inclusive #LibrarySharkTank Package (travel/transportation not included) to the student with the best project idea proposal to be pursued @ the weekend.

Register here.  Prices range from $710 – $906 (depending on room type) which includes your room and meals for Friday night thru to Sunday lunch.  We think most of you will want to stay at the beautiful Asilomar, but if you’d prefer to stay offsite, the Registration fee for the Weekend is $375 and includes all meals on Saturday and Sunday.  And hurry! Registration is limited to keep the group manageable and once the slots are gone, they’re gone.   If you’re coming for Internet Librarian .. just come a little early for the Library Shark Tank – you’ll be glad you did – and the first at a new venture!

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you there. Questions? Please contact rebecca@dysartjones.com or Steve.Coffman@lsslibraries.com.